Biology graduate Miles Kehs '18

Meet Miles Kehs

Biology, 2018

Current Position: Associate Scientist, PPD (Pharmaceutical Product Development), Graduate Student

As a scientist, Miles spends his days performing and analyzing multiple types of “assays” (investigative procedures) -- capillary isoelectric focusing, capillary gel electrophoresis, ELISA, HPLC, and turbidity -- on various antibody drug products for PPD’s research and development team. The products include drugs for cancers, arthritis, inflammation, and more. 

He spends his nights earning his master’s degree in immunology. He recently completed all of his classes for the degree and begins his thesis this fall.

Miles began at GMercyU as a Radiation Therapy major, switching to Biology during his junior year, but he credits both programs and his experience as a student-athlete with preparing him for the rigors of his current schedule. 

“I found that having to work full time and attend classes at night was an easy transition after my experience juggling class work, soccer, clinicals, and thesis work at GMercyU,” he said.
Below, Miles shares more about his GMercyU experience in his own words.

"All the [Biology program] labs and thesis work have been essential for my work both in grad school and my job. I performed most of the assays I do for work at Gwynedd at least once, which was a huge advantage."

Undergraduate Research as a Biology Major

The research I did was to study the impact of a class of organic chemical compounds polyamines on the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus causes a disease in frogs known as chytridiomycosis that is killing frogs worldwide. We were able to find that polyamines are produced by symbiotic bacteria on frogs and were able to give them protection. Our research was published in a scientific journal. 

We also presented our research at the ACS conference. I found it difficult but worth it. As all of the professors could tell you, I am a pretty shy person who doesn’t talk much, so presenting at a conference like that was difficult for me and I was dreading it the whole week. After actually doing it, I felt accomplished. 

Life as a GMercyU Student-Athlete 

It was difficult at first because I was juggling regular class work, playing soccer, and twice a week full eight-hour clinical rotations. But, I got great at time management and figured it out and was able to succeed in all aspects in both school work and athletically. 

I am so glad I did because as I said above, it helped me immeasurably when it came to my graduate studies and working full time. 

Why Choose GMercyU

If you want to pursue science, Gwynedd is perfect. The class sizes are small (mine were about 10 students), which made it easy for the professors to get to know everyone and be able to help whenever you needed it. You also have the same professors every year/class, which allows you to get closer and get to know your professor and vice versa. 

All of the professors had an impact on me, especially Dr. McEliece, Dr. Lettini, and Dr. Umile. They were very easy to talk to and help whenever needed. 

And, all the labs and thesis work have been essential for my work both in grad school and my job. I performed most of the assays I do for work at Gwynedd at least once, which was a huge advantage.